Embrace Your Personal Finance Journey: Avoid Comparisons with Others

Personal finance and investing are my passion.

This is how I feel. Maybe I am just a finance geek or I have just reached a weird adult level.

It doesn’t matter what you do, it is important to learn about money and how to save more. It doesn’t matter what age you are.

You will also feel a range of emotions, including confusion, excitement, and discouragement, but it’s all worth it once you see your progress.

Seriously. Four years ago, I had very little money in savings, a job that was not stable (although there were some freelance jobs), and a lot of debt. I also did not know much about investing or how to get my finances organized.

But I managed to overcome that and was able invest more than $50,000, while I tackled debt, and worked on improving my career value, effectively increasing my salary by 60%.

It’s amazing how life can be so unpredictable.

When I first became interested in personal finances in late 2014, the feeling was overwhelming. I was excited, but also knew that there was much to learn.

Reading a few blogs about personal finance really sparked the idea of financial freedom.

While I have only read a handful, literally thousands are doing it in their own unique way. When you look at the most popular ones, they make ridiculous amounts of money. Every month, they make more than a year’s wages!

Many retire before the age of 30, and have portfolios worth millions. It is super inspiring and cool, but it can also be very discouraging.

It was a shock to me when I first saw the results. I thought, “Hell no, I am not even close and it seems impossible to even get half to that level.”

You may feel depressed because you are facing different challenges and obstacles. You may feel as if you’re an outsider because you still have a lot to learn.

You may feel that you have no chance of success and therefore give up. You can trust me when I say that I was in the same boat. Use these bloggers’ successes as motivation for your own personal financial journey.

You don’t really know what your financial situation will look like in a few short years if you ignore the urge to give up and put some effort into it.

Although I haven’t saved or invested six figures (I will in the near future), I thought that $10,000 was an impossible amount. When I first thought that $25,000 would be impossible, I now have over $50,000.

I probably would have sat with no money and my career may not have developed the way it did if I had kept feeling discouraged. Who knows?

If you’re a beginner in personal finance or are looking to learn, don’t compare yourself with others. Here’s why.

Do you have a personal finance journey? Do not compare yourself to others

Comparing yourself with other personal finance bloggers or those who are also on a journey of their own can be demoralizing.
You may feel discouraged if you compare yourself to others too much. I have already said this. You may start thinking “Why bother”, “I wish”, “Must Be Nice” or “That’ll Never be Me”.

When you see other people succeeding, it’s common to think these things.

You don’t always see the full story or all of their hard work. You read about them when they are rich, have invested six figures or are retired.

They have spent 5+ or 10+ years sacrificing a great deal of time to reach where they are. Take this as motivation, not discouragement.

Realize that everyone’s choices and situations are different. Even the most successful bloggers are not the norm.
While many personal finance bloggers and writers have put in a lot more work than the average person, their results aren’t always as impressive. Hard work, dedication and smart money choices got them to where they are. But many of these results, while possible, are much harder than people realize.

You are essentially aiming for the same results, but with odds that are stacked very heavily against you. This is not meant to be negative, or create doubt in your mind. It’s reality. This should not stop you from living a better, debt-free life. Hell no.

Everyone’s situation is different. Our choices about money and our career are all different. All of these things happen at different times. All of these things are important to consider.

Negative thoughts will consume you
A negative attitude may develop because you feel discouraged by comparing yourself to others. You might think that because you’re not at the same level as another person, you will be financially trapped forever.

Negative thoughts about something that you’re just beginning or learning, because it appears difficult, will keep you where you are.

This negativity can affect other areas of your life as well. It’s easy to be negative and we all do it. It’s something I do all the time, and I usually don’t realize it.

Even when you achieve greatness, you can still be unhappy if you compare yourself to others.
You will always feel that you’re not good enough. It’s a fact of life that someone will always do something better than you. Why ruin your happiness by letting that happen?

Even if you have achieved something amazing, constantly comparing yourself to others can be demoralizing. You may have saved 15% this year, whereas you only had 5% in the past. It’s a big difference, but you may know people or finance bloggers who are saving 45%. You are now frustrated and disappointed with your results.

You can certainly strive to reach the next level. Never feel bad about yourself or your achievements, no matter how large or small.

Most people ignore the importance of making changes to their finances. You’re on the right track if you are happy with your changes.